February 5, 2023

Web Census Notebook: A new tool for studying web privacy

As part of the Web Transparency and Accountability Project, we’ve been visiting the web’s top 1 million sites every month using our open-source privacy measurement tool OpenWPM. This has led to numerous worrying findings such as the systematic abuse of newly introduced web features for fingerprinting, leading to better privacy tools and occasionally strong responses […]

Can Facebook really make ads unblockable?

[This is a joint post with Grant Storey, a Princeton undergraduate who is working with me on a tool to help users understand Facebook’s targeted advertising.] Facebook announced two days ago that it would make its ads indistinguishable from regular posts, and hence impossible to block. But within hours, the developers of Adblock Plus released an […]

The workshop on Data and Algorithmic Transparency

From online advertising to Uber to predictive policing, algorithmic systems powered by personal data affect more and more of our lives. As our society begins to grapple with the consequences of this shift, empirical investigation of these systems has proved vital to understand the potential for discrimination, privacy breaches, and vulnerability to manipulation. This emerging […]

Eternal vigilance is a solvable technology problem: A proposal for streamlined privacy alerts

Consider three recent news articles about online privacy: Google+ added a new feature that shows view counts on everything you post, including your photos. It’s enabled by default, but if you don’t want to be part of the popularity contest, there’s a setting to turn it off. There is a new privacy tool called XPrivacy […]